National News Doctors Appointments by Phone

ZeroTheHero

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After the take up of doctors appointments over the phone during the pandemic, Matt Hancock has said "From now on, all consultations should be tele-consultations unless there's a compelling clinical reason not to. Of course if there is an emergency, the NHS will be waiting and ready to see you in person, just as it always has been."

What are people's thoughts about this?

There are some consultations that can of course be done this way - but locally these are *phone* calls, not video calls. I would have thought that it is quite important for doctors to see and examine patients in many cases - even if the patient thinks the malady might be minor. How can a doctor listen to one's chest, examine a rash, feel a lump, notice something the patient doesn't even mention that may be a sign of something more serious? We seem to already have got to the stage where a doctor is reluctant to physically examine patients, and starts the consultation with 'what do you think is wrong with you?'!

Is this a stage too far in many cases? Will people have to shout 'emergency!' to get seen?

(I bring this up because three wider family members have had phone consultations in recent days. The doctors seemed woefully uninformed of the medical history of the patients in two cases, and two cases are older people who do really need to be seen, but are all too keen to play down their ailments because they 'don't want to make a fuss'. In my - admittedly non-medical - opinion all three would have benefited by being seen in person and the consultation has not really answered their questions, resulted in positive action or reassured them.)
 

Marked Ox

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I like it as then only have to go in or arrange for somebody to be taken in if absolutely necessary. Our GPs use a telephone triage system (by a Doctor) initially then your GP/cover will call back if necessary, and then only go in if necessary. Sounds more time consuming for them but I suspect it cuts out a lot of unnecessary appointments so freeing up time for more appointments.
 

Essexyellows

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Certainly speeds things up. I`ve had several phone consultations of late all been efficient with a reasonable outcome.
Had to go in for a physical examination on Saturday, turned up, walked in, done & dusted in 10 minutes.
No waiting around with sick folk.
A lot of businesses will re-model after this............ expect a lot more tele & home working.
 

Steve McAvoy

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Entirely consistent with the traditional Tory (and sadly New Labour) approach to the NHS; it costs too much so costs are endlessly cut, leading to a poorer resourced service. Still, it wasn’t overwhelmed by COVID 19, so that’s ok.
 

ZeroTheHero

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Perhaps I should clarify.
I am not against phone consultations per se. Where appropriate they are obviously quicker and more convenient for the patient and take up less of the doctors time. For entirely routine matters they are fine - although I still think a video call would be much better.
My concern is them being used in a blanket way i.e. you can only see a doctor if it's an 'emergency'. That is where I am unconvinced (and recent family experience seems to bear it out).
 

Marked Ox

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Entirely consistent with the traditional Tory (and sadly New Labour) approach to the NHS; it costs too much so costs are endlessly cut, leading to a poorer resourced service. Still, it wasn’t overwhelmed by COVID 19, so that’s ok.

Cuts?

To me it is more efficient use of existing resources.
 

Essexyellows

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Ring in, describe what you need or your ailment.
GP rings back and does their bit.

How green is that?
Saves me jumping in the gas guzzler for an appointment and then going back for a prescription and then rolling off to the chemist.
Efficient use of technology and peoples time is not a "Tory cut"............. its common sense!!
 

Oxford57

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I can base my response based on what happened to me,2 years ago I found a lump in my neck, went to the nhs online, which said it could be a infection,and give it a week to see what occurs, well it was still there,so I tried to make an appointment with my go (who for some strange reason only works one day a week), the earliest date I was offered was 3 weeks later,I told the
Reception women that I had to see someone today, as I was concerned about the rate of growth, so saw a nurse x2 who went got a doctor,who put me on a 2 week cancer timescale,which in effect I was seen in 10 days time,, so would have e -consult helped, I don't think so, I physically needed to be seen, 2 years later,I now have telephone consultations every 3 months which is ok, I understand that outpatient appointment s mean that the Drs have to wear full PPE .So e-consultation can make sense in some cases ,but the patient must have the capability to be able to see someone in a hurry,rather spending aged filing in online firms in the first placed
 
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